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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Owning a used PWC - you have to check EVERYTHING!

    Went riding recently, noticed the displayed battery voltage was a little higher than normal, but the machine was running well, so I didn't worry about it too much.

    Stopped to chat, then I noticed that the MFI digital display was completely blank - not even the clock was visible. And NO electrical power...to anything.

    No engine crank, no bilge pump, no nothing. Press the Reset button circuit breakers, no change.

    Clamp off the exhaust water hose, get towed back. Not happy

    When I started hunting around the engine with a multi-meter, I found 12 volts positive voltage on the engine block, with the other meter probe on the battery negative. Soon turned up the engine end of the battery ground cable, completely severed from the engine!

    The cable had been repaired by someone, and the repair looked good enough that when I had previously removed the engine ground connection to clean the threads and the bolt, I didn't think to remove the tape, as it all seemed solid enough.

    Apparently the battery negative cable at the engine had previously broken off at the ring end. The repair method was to stuff the broken cable end inside a replacement cable end, but NOT crimp it tight or properly solder it. Wrap a rather thin wire around a few turns, drip some cold solder onto the mess, and hide the whole thing inside some neatly wrapped electrical tape.

    Here is what was keeping the battery connected to the engine ground - one of the most important connections in the whole electrical system!

    I have no idea how this managed to work at all, let alone for many running hours.

    I have now crimped the end onto the cable much more solidly, and will install a complete replacement cable in the near future. Back on the water, it is running well again.

    Moral of the story. Don't assume anything on a used PWC has not been messed with, or must be OK because the machine seems to be running properly.

    Take the time to check everything.
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    Last edited by K447; 08-15-2016 at 05:59 PM.


  2. #2
    SPEED KILLS, BUT YOU GET THERE QUICKER Keddano's Avatar
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    Ouch! And now it makes you wonder what else was jerry rigged,hopefully nothing. Proves again,You can't fix stupid.

  3. #3
    WHAT?!!

    I suppose the stator WOULD work if it had reversed polarity, but thats odd the MFD did. I saw a diode or two on ryanbgb22's, never bothered to look where they go yet...

    The starter would work just fine if it was reversed polarity, so i guess he thought all was good...

    And me and ryanbgb22 found out that 80% of the time, cheap used skis are POS's every time.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZOMGVTEK View Post
    ...I suppose the stator WOULD work if it had reversed polarity, but that's odd the MFD did...
    The reason the engine block was reading positive relative to the battery negative, was because nothing was connected to the battery negative.

    This was not the same as connecting a battery with reversed polarity.

    The entire engine and wiring system was still connected to battery positive. In effect, the entire electrical system was acting as a resistor connecting the engine to the battery positive.

    A voltmeter will measure full voltage through a resistance, which is why I was measuring positive voltage on the engine block, relative to the battery negative post. As soon as I saw that, I knew I was looking for a broken connection to battery negative. The battery end of the cable was solidly attached, but the engine block end of the negative cable was not there! It was lying in the bottom of the hull...

    Measuring from the engine block to battery positive showed zero volts.

    This is a reminder to always do your electrical checks relative to the battery negative, until you are certain the engine ground is 100% solidly connected to battery negative. Only then should you use the engine itself as 'ground' for electrical measurements.

  5. #5
    wow...what a fix

    what ski was this on?

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanbgb22 View Post
    ...what ski was this on?
    This was on a Virage TXi, but it could have been any PWC. They all ground the battery to the engine in a similar way, with a heavy cable and bolt eye at the engine end.

  7. #7
    Oh...

    So then its not really a biggie then.

    This is one reason why i tore my ski down. I wanted to make sure everything was in decent shape and nothing was wierd.

  8. #8
    Rasta Mon Condoms We Be Jammin!!!!! TxVirageTx's Avatar
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    ???

    so even if the stator would trigger,i see 2 things that wouldn't allow a txi to start and one on any other ski if the battery was hooked up backwards any guesses???

  9. #9
    ^LOL im sure that was the last of the reasons why it got tworn down......multiple times in the last 2 months haha

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TxPro1200 View Post
    so even if the stator would trigger,i see 2 things that wouldn't allow a txi to start and one on any other ski if the battery was hooked up backwards any guesses???
    Well if its fuel injected... Thats kinda a issue right off the bat.

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